Once upon a time, two brothers lived near the fertile bank of the Tizü river. Pyong was the younger one, while Sesime was the elder of the two. Sesime was a very hardworking man, who loved his brother a lot. On the other hand, Pyong was a rather lethargic fellow. He never helped his brother with the farm work. Whenever the sowing season arrived, Pyong would cook up one excuse or the other so he would be exempted from toiling in the field.

One such sowing season, Pyong began to fake an illness. Every morning, Pyong would start coughing and wheezing. Sesime, being the kind and loving brother he was, would advise his brother to rest at home while he slaved away at the field. However, contrary to Sesime’s worries, as soon as Sesime would step out of the house, Pyong would have the time of his life. He would gorge himself on sumptuous food, enjoy sweet drinks, and sleep under the shade as the cool river breeze swept past him.

In the brothers’ neighboring hut lived an old woman who witnessed everything. She pitied Sesime, who had to do all the farm work by himself while his brother Pyong slacked off. In order to teach Pyong a lesson, the old woman made four magical dolls and secretly put them in the brothers’ hut. The magical dolls would start shouting whenever someone committed a misdeed. The doll would continue to scream until the wrongdoer owned up to their mistake.

The next day, Sesime left the house early in the morning. Wasting no time, Pyong sprang onto the basket containing the black sticky rice pudding. Hardly had a spoon of the pudding entered his mouth that the four dolls began shouting, “NO, DON’T DO IT! NO, DON’T DO IT!” Although startled at first, anger gave way to shock, before fear took over. Pyong ran out of the house. However, wherever he went, the magical dolls came flying after him. Just when Pyong was about to enter the deep forest, the old woman appeared in front of him and told him everything.

Listening to the old woman’s explanation, Pyong realized his folly and finally admitted to his mistake. That very evening, Pyong went to his brother and fell to his knees, apologizing for all his misdemeanors. The dolls disappeared as soon as Pyong made that heartfelt confession. From that day onward, Pyong began helping his brother at the farm.

…now that you’re here

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Ananya Susarla, Folk Tale writer at Ameya

Ananya loves to both read and reinterpret folk tales from different parts of the country. Shoot her an email at ananyasusarla2915@gmail.com if you would like to know more about her.

Folk tale adopted and abridged from Story Circus.